Science of Marine Ecology and Biology

Science of Marine Ecology and Biology - Marine Biology =...

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Marine Biology = “The scientific study of animals, plants and other organisms that live in or near the ocean and other saltwater environments such as estuaries and wetlands” Marine Ecology = “marine ecology is the study of the interactions between marine organisms and their environment, where environment includes both biotic and abiotic elements that affect the growth, development, reproduction, and distribution of organisms .
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What’s the difference between marine ecology and oceanography? Oceanography is a vary broad science involving lots of disciplines – e.g. chemistry, meteorology and biology Biological Oceanography and Marine Ecology are very similar and nearly impossible to separate – involving interactions between marine species and the ocean environment.
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The Marine Environment 71% of the Earth’s surface is marine water – 139 million square miles The deepest part of the ocean is over 10km deep On average the oceans are 3.7km deep The marine environment makes up 99% of the known biosphere (the volume within which life is found) But ~80% of the world’s oceans are unexplored
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Marine zones INTERTIDAL ZONE (Littoral) – between the highest high tide and lowest low tide SUBTIDAL (sub-littoral) – below the lowest low tide – always submerged BENTHIC – on or in the seabed PELAGIC – open ocean NERITIC – coastal
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Marine zones CONTINENTAL SHELF – a slowly sloping shallow water area close to the coast Can be from 100m to 100km wide Ranges from sea level to approximately 200m in depth On average the continental shelf is 65km wide 8% of the ocean area lies above the shelf Beyond the edge of the continental shelf is the steep CONTINENTAL SLOPE
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CONTINENTAL SHELVES
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Marine zones CONTINENTAL SLOPE – descends to a depth of 3-6km Steepness on average is 7% (drops 70m for 1km horizontal distance traveled) At the base is often a gentle ramp (CONTINENTAL RISE) caused by accumulated sediment at the base of the slope But can be as steep as 50 % (drops 500m for 1 km traveled horizontally)
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Marine zones Beyond this are ABYSSAL PLAINS which may be broken up by TRENCHES – steep troughs up to 7km-10km deep Or RIDGES – submarine mountain chains several km high The deepest point of the ocean = 11034 m
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feet (0m) EPIPELAGIC ZONE -At the surface pressure is 1 atmosphere (it increases by 1 atmosphere for every 33 feet (10 m) in depth) - Light freely penetrates and photosynthesis can take place - Region of greatest PRODUCTIVITY 220 feet (~70m): Depth at which compressed air becomes toxic to scuba divers 558 feet (168m) Free diving (diving on held breath) record 660 feet (200m): MESOPELAGIC ZONE - Very little to no light -Photosynthesis not possible below this depth - Maximum diving depth of the Pacific white-sided dolphin. Going down….
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Science of Marine Ecology and Biology - Marine Biology =...

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